The Holiday Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis

Christmas, holiday, Thanksgiving, emotional health, mental health, anxiety, holiday aspect, living with and healing from trauma, blogger, podcaster, speaker, writer, blog

Background on The Holiday Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis

About a month ago, I discussed The Flashback/Images/Nightmare Aspect of Living with and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis.  You can find that post here.  Today, I will discuss The Holiday Aspect of Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis.

Christmas, holiday, Thanksgiving, emotional health, mental health, anxiety, holiday aspect, living with and healing from trauma, blogger, podcaster, speaker, writer, blog

The Holiday Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis

 

Holiday time can be tough in general.  Let alone, if the holiday time is when you experienced a series of events that led to PTSD/trauma.  When the holidays come around, it can feel like you are reliving these events.  This is because the energy from them are still residing in our bodies.

The holiday season of 2012 is when a great majority of the trauma that my kids and I experienced in the last six years took place.  It started a little before Thanksgiving, and reached its peak right after New Year’s Day.  Almost daily, emotionally draining activities and sabotage were done to myself and the kids in order for me to put him out, so that he wouldn’t have to be the “bad guy” who left us.

Christmas, holiday, Thanksgiving, emotional health, mental health, anxiety, holiday aspect, living with and healing from trauma, blogger, podcaster, speaker, writer, blog

The peak was a fake-suicide stunt with my ex-husband starting up the car with the garage door down, and the engine running.  It was a last attempt to pull me back in emotionally, and to get me back to being the person that was a doormat/enabler, with low self-worth.

God had already begun to work a miracle in my life six months prior to this event, and so this “doormat” person was not there anymore.  It was God’s grace that I went downstairs to check the garage, or this fake suicide stunt could have killed all of us.  The kids were sleeping upstairs at the time.

Christmas, holiday, Thanksgiving, emotional health, mental health, anxiety, holiday aspect, living with and healing from trauma, blogger, podcaster, speaker, writer, blog

Ever since then, the holiday time has been painful, and a time that I struggle.  It has gotten better in some areas, and worse in others.

The first holiday season (2013) after my ex-husband left, was very difficult because I wasn’t able to tolerate any Christmas music or movies.  A friend of mine dropped me off at the grocery store, and she waited outside for me.  I had to pick up a few items.  I remember Christmas music playing on the radio, and literally feeling trapped.  The reaction to the music surprised me.  Before I knew it, I was caught up in the “Overwhelmed Aspect”.  An explanation of that aspect can be found here.

I quickly found the items that I needed, and got out of the store as fast as I could.  This continued being my normal for the first year.  A few weeks after that, the church that I was attending for Divorce Care offered a session for dealing with grief during the holidays.  I gladly signed up for the class.  We discussed all the practical unexpected things that could happen during the holidays, and how to handle them.

I can listen to more Christmas music now than before.  I can also watch Holiday movies, with breaks in between for some of them.  It is almost like the smell outside and the feel in the air knows it’s November, and then the trauma aspect kicks in for me.  Down below, I have listed some things to help you ease through the holiday aspect of living with trauma during this season.

 

Self-Help for Making it Through The Holiday Aspect

Take advantage of the community that God has given you.  Talk to friends on the phone.  Have a girls’ or guys’ movie night.  A month ago, me and my friends got together to watch a home movie in front of the fireplace.  It was a wonderful time of eating, fellowship, and laughs.  When you are dealing with anxiety or depression, you need something to help lift your emotions.

Christmas, holiday, Thanksgiving, emotional health, mental health, anxiety, holiday aspect, living with and healing from trauma, blogger, podcaster, speaker, writer, blog

Therapy.  This therapy could involve going to see your therapist, writing in your journal, poetry, painting, or cooking.  There are several activities that allow us to be creative and are therapeutic at the same time.

Movement.  Give your body the gift of movement.  When you exercise, the blood and oxygen starts flowing, and the natural feel-good hormones rise to the surface.  I like going for a walk, even if it’s cold, just to make my adrenal glands happy, and feel refreshed at the same time.  I also like dancing to 70s’ and 80s’ music and walking the stairs for a certain amount of time to get my heart pumping.

Christmas, holiday, Thanksgiving, emotional health, mental health, anxiety, holiday aspect, living with and healing from trauma, blogger, podcaster, speaker, writer, blog

Doses of Music, Movies, Etc.  Try to allow yourself to watch or listen to music, movies, etc. a little at a time in order to build up resilience.  Everyone is different.  I found that when I tried to ban everything, it only made the trauma worse, so I introduced a little bit at a time.  I am still in the process of giving myself little doses here and there.

Self-Care.  Practice self-care by trying to get enough sleep, rest, and food as possible.  Taking  your vitamins and drinking herbal tea can be relaxing.  It might be a time to take get bloodwork done to see if your vitamin D is low, since we are in the winter months, and there is less sunshine.

Prayer.  Ask others for prayer, and lift yourself up in prayer as well.  Listening to uplifting Christian music can be comforting and minister to your soul.

Send some comments to let me know what you use to get through the holiday aspect of trauma.

Prayers for you and your family as you march through this season!

Katina

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Episode 8: The Fear and Exhaustion Cocktail

emotional health, mental health, ptsd, anxiety, ptsd survivor, physical health, spiritual health, burnout, Elijah, David,

Episode 8: The Fear and Exhaustion Cocktail
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Our last podcast, Episode 7:  The Benefits of Suffering, was recorded two weeks ago.  When we are dealing with suffering, as the word itself suggests, there seems to be no benefits at all.  God has a word for all of us in how we can see this differently.  That episode can be found here.

Today’s episode, Episode 8: The Fear and Exhaustion Cocktail lets us know the dangers of what happens when we mix the two.  Hold onto your seats!  Or, should I say run fast!

emotional health, mental health, ptsd, anxiety, ptsd survivor, physical health, spiritual health, burnout, Elijah, David,
Photo by Rene Asmussen on Pexels.com

The Fear and Exhaustion Cocktail Outline

  • Cause and Effect of Fear
  • Cause and Effect of Exhaustion
  • Three Things That Happen when we Drink the Fear and Exhaustion Cocktail
  • Remedy for Fear and Exhaustion Hangover
  • What Happened when I Drank the Fear and Exhaustion Cocktail
  • Bible Verses for Today’s podcast

David Among the Philistines-1 Samuel 27

Part 1

27 But David thought to himself, “One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand.”

So David and the six hundred men with him left and went over to Achish son of Maok king of Gath. David and his men settled in Gath with Achish. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal.When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him.

Then David said to Achish, “If I have found favor in your eyes, let a place be assigned to me in one of the country towns, that I may live there. Why should your servant live in the royal city with you?”

So on that day Achish gave him Ziklag, and it has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since. David lived in Philistine territory a year and four months.

Part 2

Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites. (From ancient times these peoples had lived in the land extending to Shur and Egypt.) Whenever David attacked an area, he did not leave a man or woman alive, but took sheep and cattle, donkeys and camels, and clothes. Then he returned to Achish.

10 When Achish asked, “Where did you go raiding today?” David would say, “Against the Negev of Judah” or “Against the Negev of Jerahmeel” or “Against the Negev of the Kenites.” 11 He did not leave a man or woman alive to be brought to Gath, for he thought, “They might inform on us and say, ‘This is what David did.’” And such was his practice as long as he lived in Philistine territory. 12 Achish trusted David and said to himself, “He has become so obnoxious to his people, the Israelites, that he will be my servant for life.”

 

Elijah Flees to Horeb 1 Kings 19

19 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”

Elijah was afraid[a] and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.

All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.

The Lord Appears to Elijah

And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shatteredthe rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram.16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”

The Call of Elisha

19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”

“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”

21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.

The Flashback/Images/Nightmare Aspect: Living with and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis

emotional health, mental health, trauma, anxiety, depression, flashbacks, ptsd, ptsd survivor, dreams, healing, brokenness, nightmares, living with trauma

Background on the Flashback/Images/Nightmare Aspect

A week ago, I discussed The “Inability to Focus” Aspect: Living With and Healing From Trauma on a Daily Basis.  That discussion can be found here.  Today, I will be discussing The Flashback/Images/Nightmare Aspect: Living with and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis.

emotional health, mental health, trauma, anxiety, depression, flashbacks, ptsd, ptsd survivor, dreams, healing, brokenness, nightmares, living with trauma
Dreaming

Nightmare Aspect

This discussion has three parts to it.  When I compare myself to others whom I have talked to, they present themselves differently, and so I deemed it necessary to explain them separately.  As far as the nightmare aspect is concerned, my experience has been that there has been very few trauma nightmares.  When the nightmares do occur, they are usually because I have fallen asleep with the television on, and a horror movie happened to come on, and that movie turned the dream into a trauma nightmare.

Also, at our last residence, because of the vaulted ceilings, you could hear everything that was going on no matter what room you were in.  It gave the impression that we were in closer proximity than we really were.  During this time, the sleep deprived trauma symptom was at its peak.  I would either wake up every 45 minutes to an hour, or fall asleep at 3 am, If my son was playing a war game on his Xbox, then that would also set me off into a trauma nightmare.

Because of the way that my brain is wired, whenever I go to sleep, I have to be careful of what is playing in the background because it will become part of my dream.  The game would cause me to dream of something violent, wake up with trauma-induced fear, my body stiff as a board, clenched teeth, and unfortunately my mouth filled with blood from biting my gums.

It  would normally take a long time to go back to sleep after this.  I would end up telling my son to turn the game volume down.  The very few times that this happened would usually involve me praying desperately for God to take away the trauma fear, and to give me the sweet sleep that he promised us in Proverbs 3.

emotional health, mental health, trauma, anxiety, depression, flashbacks, ptsd, ptsd survivor, dreams, healing, brokenness, nightmares, living with traumaDifficulty Sleeping

 

emotional health, mental health, trauma, anxiety, depression, flashbacks, ptsd, ptsd survivor, dreams, healing, brokenness, nightmares, living with trauma
Waking Up

 

Trauma Dreams

Part 1

What I do have a lot of is what I call trauma dreams.  What I noticed is that when I am unable to process the trauma, i.e. grieve it, then the trauma will show up in my dreams where I am able to process it.  Usually what happens is that I will wake up with heavy grief, remembering the dream, and then grieving some more.

Part 2

The weird thing about what I call trauma dreams is that there isn’t always one theme that the dream is about.  Sometimes there are five different things that I need to process subconsciously, and the dream will mix all these different things together.

emotional health, mental health, trauma, anxiety, depression, flashbacks, ptsd, ptsd survivor, dreams, healing, brokenness, nightmares, living with trauma
Praying for Sweet Sleep

 

Flashbacks

Trauma flashbacks usually occur through triggers.  These triggers can be weather related, smells, sights, sounds,  tastes, and even touch.  Basically, triggers can involve any of the five senses.  The triggers aspect is discussed in more detail here.

About a year ago, I made some bean and cheese quesadillas that were pretty good.  At least, I thought they were.  However, my kids were only able to take a few bites.  The quesadillas triggered memories of an earlier time.

When I was working at a toxic company for six months, I overheard the boss mention one word.  That word sent me into a tailspin of flashbacks in regards to an extremely traumatic situation that happened with my ex-husband.  This situation of bullying was going on while my grandmother was in the hospital dying.  Basically, you never know what will trigger flashbacks.

As the spring and winter approaches, these also bring the flashbacks on.  This is because my eyes are very sensitive to transitions in the brightness and darkness outside.  I go into this blackout aspect more deeply here.

emotional health, mental health, trauma, anxiety, depression, flashbacks, ptsd, ptsd survivor, dreams, healing, brokenness, nightmares, living with trauma
Transitions with Light

Images

I am not sure of how many people deal with this aspect.  Where most people have violent nightmares, my trauma comes forth as violent images in front of my face.  What I have noticed is that these images will also emerge if my brain is having problems processing what it is seeing.

It can be as small as a simple fight or argument.  Sometimes I am able to tolerate it.  However, if the movie shows a lot of it, then I will see images.  A few months ago, I was watching a Netflix movie that reminded me of my ethnicity, and growing up in the black church and community.

The content started becoming questionable, and I knew the Holy Spirit was trying to signal to me that it probably wasn’t a good idea to continue.  My confirmation was when a violent fight broke out between a man and a woman, and then the trauma images came forth.  The next thing that I knew, I said, “Okay.  We’re done.  Thank you Lord for confirmation.”

If there was anything in this discussion that resonated with you, feel free to drop me a line below.

Have a blessed rest of your day!

 

Katina

 

Gratitude Check

spiritual health, emotional health, character development, trauma, anxiety, PTSD, car accident

Introduction

The last six months have been filled with trials, unexpected trauma, and a whole lot of gratitude.  This gratitude involves the realization that I have life, strength, and decent health.  It makes me think of all the things that God made possible that I thought that I may never do again.  It is also gratefulness for a new calling in life.  I realize that nothing can be taken for granted.

spiritual health, emotional health, character development, trauma, anxiety, PTSD, car accident

Background on Gratitude Check

After just coming out of a trial on Wednesday of last week, I was looking forward to taking it easy on the weekend.  So I thought.  I had just attended a meeting at church for the Sunday School volunteers.  My daughter and I were headed home.

We made a complete stop at the intersection around the corner from our house, waiting for eastbound traffic to clear so that we could make a left turn.  While we were sitting there, I had the words “crash and rental car” to come into my mind.  I tried pushing those thoughts out of my head.  I began to make a plan for what I would do when I got home:  rake the leaves, go for a walk, write out my podcast speech, etc.  The next thing that I knew, we were hit.  It kind of happened in slow motion.

spiritual health, emotional health, character development, trauma, anxiety, PTSD, car accident

After about an hour and fifteen minutes of pictures and paperwork, we were able to go home.  To be honest, I had to stop and ask God “Why?”  I had just recovered from last week’s drama, only to end up with more trauma from the accident.  As I sat there, at my kitchen table, I acknowledged that I was mad.  There was no point in pretending.  Stuffing leads to more trauma, so I wasn’t going down that aisle.  I acknowledged that I didn’t feel like making the calls to the insurance company.  Then, I had to acknowledge the trauma from the accident that was starting to kick in.

spiritual health, emotional health, character development, trauma, anxiety, PTSD, car accident

It took me two more hours before I could call and report the accident.  What was my gratitude check for Saturday?

  1.  God is good.
  2. The car was still drive-able.
  3. We didn’t suffer any major injuries.(My daughter is sore from the accident).
  4. God had a praise song in my head while we waited for all the pictures and paperwork to be done.
  5. The car wasn’t going any faster than it was.
  6. We found out that we were missing some major coverage on our car insurance.
  7. The other driver had insurance.

spiritual health, emotional health, character development, trauma, anxiety, PTSD, car accident

This accident reminded me of God’s answer to our thoughts and our plans:

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9 New International Version (NIV)

God bless,

Katina

Oh Self-Pity!

self-pity, stronghold, blog, poetry, emotional health, mental health, turning inward, brokenness, healing, ptsd, abuse, trauma, spiritual warfare, author, podcaster, blogger

Earlier this week, I recorded a podcast on self-pity, entitled, ” Woe Is Me!”  You can find it here.  Today, I wrote a poem on self-pity to help us all deal with its spiritual stronghold.

Oh Self-Pity!

self-pity, stronghold, blog, poetry, emotional health, mental health, turning inward, brokenness, healing, ptsd, abuse, trauma, spiritual warfare, author, podcaster, blogger
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Oh Self-Pity! Oh Self-Pity!

You have built your own little city.

“Look at me! Look at me!

Don’t you see me suffering?”

 

“I’m the victim, full of sad.

Turning inward all the mad.

Oh, dear God, but I’m your friend.

When will you take the revenge?”

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

(God Answers)

“Take Mercy and Grace, Make them your friends.

That inward thing, your heart will mend.”

 

“Oh Self-Pity! Oh Self-Pity!

God has destroyed your little city.

Look at me! Look at me!

God has surely set me free!”

 

self-pity, stronghold, blog, poetry, emotional health, mental health, turning inward, brokenness, healing, ptsd, abuse, trauma, spiritual warfare, author, podcaster, blogger
Photo by Stefan Stefancik on Pexels.com

Bible Verse to Reflect on In Regards to Self-Pity

 

73 Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.

But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.

For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.

They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.

 

Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.

Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.

They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.

They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.

10 Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them.

11 And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?

12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.

13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.

 

14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.

15 If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.

16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;

17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.

18 Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.

19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.

 

20 As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.

21 Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.

22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.

23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.

24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.

 

25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

27 For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.

28 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

The “Inability to Focus” Aspect: Living With and Healing From Trauma on a Daily Basis

mental health, emotional health, anxiety, depression, ptsd, trauma, adhd, focus, dissociation. inability to focus aspect

Background on the Inability to Focus Aspect

For about three months now, I have featured a series entitled, ” Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis.  Last week, I discussed the “Blackout Aspect”.  That discussion can be found here.  Today’s discussion in the series ” Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis”, will center in on The “Inability to Focus” Aspect.

mental health, emotional health, anxiety, depression, ptsd, trauma, adhd, focus, dissociation. inability to focus aspect

When we focus, we are able to use all of our attention in order to get a task done.  Unfortunately, with PTSD/trauma, there are times when the inability to focus can literally get the best of you.  There are several times that I have noticed this happening to myself.  These are the triggering situations when the inability to focus happens the most:

  • obtrusive thoughts are coming through
  • you are in shock/denial about the truth/reality of a situation
  • when you haven’t had enough sleep

mental health, emotional health, anxiety, depression, ptsd, trauma, adhd, focus, dissociation. inability to focus aspect

Obtrusive Thoughts

Obtrusive thoughts that come through are the thoughts that are for the most part not your own.  These thoughts are usually part of the inner critic voice inside of you from the person who abused or criticized you, or caused some type of pain or rejection.  When these thoughts are racing through, it is hard to focus on anything else because the thoughts are trying to literally take over your whole brain process.  I start off by praying and asking God to “take my thoughts captive”.  If the obtrusive thoughts are mild, this does the trick.  However, to keep it real, sometimes the thoughts are so out of control, that I am praying to God all day long about the same thing to the point of exhaustion.

mental health, emotional health, anxiety, depression, ptsd, trauma, adhd, focus, dissociation. inability to focus aspect

Shock / Denial

When I am in shock/denial about some revelation that God has brought forth, I immediately start having problems focusing.  This happened about three weeks ago when a personal situation with someone blew wide open.  During this time, I ended up redirecting myself several times over to the truth, which is good.  However, what I notice is that the truth is such a shock at this point, that the inability to focus increases instead of decreases from the truth.

This is because the revelation of the truth started the cycle in the first place, if that makes sense.  The only thing that helps to ease this up is when our brains know that it is safe to grieve.  Grieving breaks through the inability to focus aspect little by little when it comes to shock/denial.  In this sense, I think of it as being a protection from further emotional and mental damage.  This particular case from shock/denial is a form of dissociation as well.

mental health, emotional health, anxiety, depression, ptsd, trauma, adhd, focus, dissociation. inability to focus aspect

Lack of Sleep

Lastly, when it comes to trauma, we have to have enough sleep.  This can’t be stressed enough.  When this doesn’t happen, it increases the inability to focus.  In PTSD/trauma victims, this is exaggerated more than usual cases.  The situation can get so bad that you exhibit ADHD-like symptoms that are trauma-induced.  You have difficulty putting thoughts and sentences together, and you feel like your words are far apart.

My Experience with Lack of Sleep

One time about eight months ago this happened.  It was extremely scary.  I had been having problems sleeping for about a week do to a trial that I was dealing with, and the next thing that I knew, I realized that I was having problems gathering thoughts and putting sentences together.  I prayed and asked God to help me sleep, and to restore my mind.  And he didn’t fail to answer.

mental health, emotional health, anxiety, depression, ptsd, trauma, adhd, focus, dissociation. inability to focus aspect

Even if this is not your area of struggle with PTSD/trauma, I am quite sure that there are other that you have that may be just as challenging.  Feel free to comment below on how the inability to focus aspect has challenged you.

Thanks and blessings,

Katina

Episode 5: Woe is Me!

self-pity, self-help, spiritual health, mental health, emotional health, anxiety, depression, anger, abuse, woe is me, valley of grace, character development, victim, victim mentality,

Episode 5: Woe is Me!
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Outline of the Podcast “Woe is Me!”

Praise God!  We are on Episode 5, entitled, ” Woe Is Me!”.  Last week’s podcast featured Episode 4:  Unhealed Brokenness & Toxic Relationships.  It can be found here.

  • What is Self-Pity?
  • Why is Self-Pity So Bad?
  • What is the End Result of Extreme Self-Pity?

 

self-pity, self-help, spiritual health, mental health, emotional health, anxiety, depression, anger, abuse, woe is me, valley of grace, character development, victim, victim mentality,
Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com
  • The Competitive Side of Self-Pity
  • Self-Pity is Spiritual
  • View of Self-Pity for other Christians
  • View of Self-Pity for Unbelievers
  • My Experience with Self-Pity
self-pity, self-help, spiritual health, mental health, emotional health, anxiety, depression, anger, abuse, woe is me, valley of grace, character development, victim, victim mentality,
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
  • Factors for Ahab’s spirit of self-pity
  1. Retirement
  2. Location
  3. Money
  • Ahab’s childish behavior
  • Reminders about Temptation and Lust
  • James 1: 12-20:

12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

Listening and Doing

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

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Five Steps to Freedom from Self-Pity

Have a blessed night!

Katina

The Blackout Aspect: Living With and Healing From Trauma on a Daily Basis

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Dissecting the Blackout

A couple of weeks ago, we focused on the shame aspect of trauma.  You can find that discussion:   “The Shame Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis” here.  Today, we will discuss the blackout aspect of trauma.

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What is the blackout aspect of trauma?  The blackout aspect of trauma consists of several different things.  First of all, not everyone, but for some people living with PTSD/trauma, there is something that happens with your body’s sense of being able to handle the transition between light and dark if that makes sense.  For myself, it was so significant that at first, I had to have a lot of lights on in the house.  If I didn’t, I would feel like the darkness was closing in on me.

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Old Experience with Blackout

When my kids and I were homeless, and waiting for God to give us a place to live, one of my friends took us in for five weeks.  At this time, my issue with blackout was so bad, that the darkness made me scared to fall asleep.  I would wake up in a panic, and have to calm myself down so that I could feel rested.  I felt like I had gone from a forty something year old woman to a child afraid of the dark again.  So, not only was it scary, but I was filled with shame.

New Experience with Blackout

What I noticed the situation is now, is that I have such a sensitivity to light, that I have to have it completely dark in order to fall asleep.  If there is any light coming in from the blinds, I know I am going to have trouble falling asleep.  If I don’t have the light blocking my face, even if I’ve had 8 hours of sleep, I will have extreme layers of bags under my eyes that will look like I haven’t slept in days.  Also, my whole body will be in an extreme case of exhaustion.

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Two years ago, I had to serve at the concession stand at church for basketball season.  It was a pretty gloomy day in general, and since it was early evening when I got dropped off at the church, it was even darker.  I stepped into the church’s kitchen to begin my serving shift, when everything started closing in on me.

My old techniques were immediate panic, but right then, I reminded myself of where I was, that it would eventually stop, and that engaging in conversation with others around me would help me to get grounded in the present moment.  I would just have to ride it out.

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When is the blackout aspect really bad?  This is during the time where there is changing of the seasons, especially when it starts getting darker closer to winter.

I do a better job of handling it now, but in the beginning, it really rattled me to be honest.  Feel free to drop a line in regards to your blackout aspect, and how you handle it.

 

God bless and have a wonderful weekend.

The Shame Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis

Dissecting the Shame

Last week, we discussed “The Changing Seasons Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis”, which can be found here.  This week, we will be dissecting “The Shame Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis”.  One thing about shame is that when it creeps in, it can do a lot of destruction.

Trauma itself can produce a lot of shame because of its symptoms.  Depending on what symptom you are trying to control, it can leave you feeling isolated, and wanting to self protect for fear that someone will not empathize with you for your condition.  I harbored shame for three reasons:  the swinging/aggressive impulse that it caused, the good memory that God had blessed me with had been had been significantly damaged, and last, the physical condition that the trauma left my body in.

Shame of Lost Memory

I took for granted the memory that I was blessed with.  It just had always been there.  The ability to memorize telephone numbers, social security numbers, birthdays, and spelling bee words all came easy until the trauma.  Even names of people became a blur.  When you go from having all this, to trying to remember if something happened a week ago, or three weeks ago, because of the time aspect of trauma, it can do a number on you.  Even now, my brain hasn’t fully recovered.  Sometimes, I am standing with friends and talking, and for the life of me, I just can’t seem to remember their name.  At this point, I will try to tell myself to relax, and then not to overthink it, and the name will come to me.  I feel so blessed that God has recovered what he has.

 

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Shame of Aggression

The second part of shame that has taken me a long time to talk about is the aggression.  When the aggression hits, it leaves you with the impression of wanting to hit something.  Since trauma gets stored in your body, the only way for this aggression to improve, is to get it out.  I do this at home by doing a kickboxing style type of move to release the anger from my body.  Also, if you don’t go to therapy where it’s safe to talk about the trauma, it just remains stored in your body.  Unfortunately, this symptom of aggression from trauma stemmed from seeing my mother abused when I was a kid.  I didn’t know it was traumatic until the trauma of my ex-husband’s behavior in the home right before my divorce, coupled with the fact that my daughter was eleven years old at the time.   He was planning on leaving the home, and this brought my childhood surface of trauma to the forefront.  I was also eleven when my dad left the home.  His exit was also traumatic for me.  It involved coming home, and then almost everything you own being gone from the house, including him.

shame, guilt, trauma, anxiety, PTSD, depression, emotional health, mental health

 

 

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Shame of Physical Burnout

The last part of shame from trauma that I dealt with is the physical aspect.  I was in a compromised state.  Since my ex-husband wasn’t paying the proper amount of money, I figured that I had to go back to work to make ends meet.  I got a job that came with a high price: toxicity.  From start to finish of working there, it mirrored the emotionally abusive marriage I had just left.  I should have quit halfway through when my body started falling apart, but I didn’t.  It was nine months of Sodom and Gomorrah, and everything in between there.  I was in such a jacked up state, that I couldn’t think straight.  At one point, I probably should have been hospitalized because of physical exhaustion, thyroid crisis, and adrenal gland crisis.  I also suffered with chronic fatigue on a daily basis.  It took a good almost three years before my body starting responding to the thyroid medication again.  More shame crept in because during these three years I was more concerned with living up to everyone else’s expectations than living with reality of my situation.  It was also at this point that I should have filed for disability, but I didn’t.

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Hope from God

What does God tell us about shame of any kind when we are dealing with it?  Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy. Isaiah 61:7.  I hope that this discussion on shame has been a source of healing and encouragement.

 

God bless,

 

Katina

 

 

Episode 2: Conflict Among Broken People

Analysis of Avoiding Conflict

I used to think that avoiding conflict was good. I thought that avoiding conflict was the same thing as avoiding confusion, strife, and extra drama. I took pride in thinking that avoiding conflict was keeping the peace. I was so wrong about that.  What I was doing was avoiding dealing with a small problem, which later became an out of control problem.  This was due to fear of the response of the other person.

What God revealed to me recently was profound: We are all broken, and so when we avoid conflict, we are avoiding dealing with the problems that arise between two or more broken individuals.

This podcasts dissects all aspects of the word conflict, by giving the things that occurs when we avoid conflict to going through the steps to take to resolving conflict.

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  • King Solomon Handled Conflict
  • Used Wisdom
  • Used Discernment

 

  • King David Refused Conflict
  • Used Avoidance
  • Used Passive-Aggressive Behavior

 

Bible Verses to Focus on:

1 Kings 3: 28

Everyone in Israel was amazed when they heard how Solomon had made his decision. They realized that God had given him wisdom to judge fairly.

2 Samuel 13: 21-22

When King David heard all this, he was furious. 22 And Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar.(2 Samuel 13-21-22) 

2 Samuel 13: 28-29

Absalom ordered his men, “Listen! When Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon down,’ then kill him. Don’t be afraid. Haven’t I given you this order? Be strong and brave.” So Absalom’s men did to Amnon what Absalom had ordered. Then all the king’s sons got up, mounted their mules and fled. (2 Samuel 13:28-29)

2 Samuel 13: 37-38

Absalom fled and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. But King David mourned many days for his son.  After Absalom fled and went to Geshur, he stayed there three years. (2 Samuel 13:37-38)

2 Samuel 18: 14-15

Joab said, “I’m not going to wait like this for you.” So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree.  And ten of Joab’s armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him and killed him. (2 Samuel 18: 14-15)

Matthew 18: 15-17  If Your Brother Sins Against You

15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

Revelations 2: 1-6

2:1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus, write the following: “This is the solemn pronouncement of the one who has a firm grasp on the seven stars in his right hand – the one who walks among the seven golden lampstands: 2 ‘I know your works as well as your labor and steadfast endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have even put to the test those who refer to themselves as apostles (but are not), and have discovered that they are false. 

3 I am also aware that you have persisted steadfastly, endured much for the sake of my name, and have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you: You have departed from your first love! 5 Therefore, remember from what high state you have fallen and repent! Do the deeds you did at the first; if not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place – that is, if you do not repent. 6 But you do have this going for you: You hate what the Nicolaitans practice – practices I also hate.